Saturday, April 9, 2011

Michigan DNR Closing State Campgrounds-Is Reedsburg on the Chopping Block?

 The state campground at Reedsburg may be closing. According to a Detroit newspaper I recently read, 23 state forest campgrounds across the U.P. and northern Michigan, may be closing as early as May 19, in a cost cutting move by the new director.

There's no list of the campgrounds being considered but one of the criteria seems to be whether there's somewhere else to camp nearby. We have three state campgrounds plus several privately owned campgrounds within 15 miles of each other and all of them are well used each summer. I don't believe any of our state campgrounds here in the Houghton lake area will be closed but once we start down this road, where does it end?

The second largest industry in Michigan is tourism (after the auto industry). With gas prices set to reach over $4 a gallon this summer. Families will be looking for an inexpensive way to spend their summer vacations probably closer to home to save on the cost of travel. Thus the Michigan campgrounds are a very attractive option. Over the decades the younger generations have lost interest in the outdoors. But with the "Go Green" movement, some interest in the outdoors has been rekindled.

I love the outdoors. I always have. There was a time when I stopped going to the state parks. Now I visit often. I make it no secret that I enjoy going to Reedsburg Dam and the Dead Stream Flooding for some fishing. It has become almost a daily sojourn for me.

Recently we lost the Michigan State Fair. The oldest fair of it's kind in the US. It ran for over 140 years straight. Even through the Great Depression years. Last year, in a cost cutting move, it was cancelled. A 140 year tradition gone. Let's not let our campgrounds disappear to save a few dollars. Take a camping trip this summer. Let the DNR and our governor know, we still want our campgrounds.

Thanks for listening,

Ken S

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